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Rosemary, Lavender and Goat’s Cheese Bread

French Herbed Bread 2

 

So, is everyone ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow?  We’re hosting for the second year in a row, so we are in the process of turkey brining/chestnut roasting/mad prepping before the big day.  Got all of the deep cleaning in the house done on Sunday (yay for productivity!), so on Thursday it’s just cooking, some light cleaning, and some definite parade watching.  Growing up, my family always traveled to Bakersfield to visit my dad’s side for Thanksgiving, so I never watched the parade until I was an adult, but I definitely get the appeal.  But, we always listened to Alice’s Restaurant in the car on the way down, so I insist on continuing that tradition even when we’re staying at home.  

:-)

I wanted to post a recipe this week, but was at a bit of a loss of what to do.  I figured everyone is pretty overwhelmed with turkey/potato/green bean/squash/pumpkin/various pie recipes, so I thought I would go in a less traditional direction.  I wanted to do something as a starter, something a less traditional, a little … different.  So, in looking for something new and different, I looked to Rachel Khoo.

French Herbed Bread 1

 

For those of your who aren’t familiar with Rachel Khoo, I insist you get familiar.  She is a culinary creative, originally from London but based in Paris, who trained at Le Cordon Bleu and now has several cookbooks and a show on the Cooking Channel.  She does fresh, modern interpretations of classic French dishes.  She is also one of the most adorable human beings on Earth.  I discovered her cookbook, “The Little Paris Kitchen,” on our trip to Calistoga in May.  I have been working my way through the book, trying as many recipes as I can.  They are all so fresh and interesting and inventive.  I have a full-on food crush.

French Herbed Bread 4

One of the recipes I had been dying to try was this bread: Lavender, Rosemary and Goat Cheese bread.  Almost like an herbed focaccia, with pockets of hard goat cheese sprinkled throughout.  I could hear it calling me every time I flipped through the book.  I could resist no longer.  I had to make it!

Imagine this bread, crusty and warm, straight out of the oven, with a dish of soft butter or good olive oil on the side.  Everyone ripping pieces off, dipping, enjoying the sharp hit of the cheese throughout the soft, aromatic dough.  This would make an excellent starter to an elegant and hearty Thanksgiving.  Or, just a nice afternoon’s lunch.  Or breakfast.  Really, anytime.  This bread is pretty fantastic.  Upon making the bread, I realized that I had run out of dried rosemary.  I decided to use Herbs de Provence instead (a dried French herb mix of lavender, thyme, fennel, savory and basil), which worked beautifully, though I imagine the lavender and rosemary combo would be just as tantalizing.

With a little bit of time for rising, this bread is actually incredibly easy to make, and so rewarding to eat.  Make this, either tomorrow or another day, your taste buds will thank you.  

:-)

Have a happy and indulgent Thanksgiving friends!  THG

French Herbed Bread 3

 

Rosemary, Lavender & Goat's Cheese Bread
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  2. 1 cup lukewarm water
  3. 3 cups bread flour
  4. 1 1/2 tsp. salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  5. 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  6. 1/2 tsp. dried lavender
  7. 2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  8. 3 oz. hard goat's cheese, cut into small cubes
Instructions
  1. Mix the yeast with the warm water, stirring until the yeast has completely dissolved. Mix the flour, salt, rosemary and lavender in a large bowl. Pour in the dissolved yeast and the olive oil and mix to form a dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it forms a sooth, sticky ball. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour, then put into the fridge overnight.
  2. The following day, turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until it forms a smooth ball again, then cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  3. Roll the dough into a large circle and then cut the circle in half. Make a large cut down the middle of each half without cutting all the way through the dough, starting a little way in from the rounded edge and stopping before the opposite side. Make three small slashes on each side of the cut, then use your fingers to gently open out the slashes to look like the veins of a leaf. Place each half on a piece of parchment paper and push the cubes of cheese randomly into the dough. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 475F.
  5. Put a baking sheet in the oven to get hot while oven is preheating. Brush the bread with olive oil and sprinkle a couple of pinches of salt. Once the oven is hot, place the bread on the hot baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 400F and bake for another 12-15 mintues or until the bread is golden brown. Serve warm with butter and olive oil.
Adapted from The Little Paris Kitchen
Adapted from The Little Paris Kitchen
The Humble Gourmet http://www.thehumblegourmet.com/

Monday Morning Coffee Break: Thanksgiving Edition

Coffee Break

 

Good morning!  I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.  I had the great fortune of accompanying my good friend Emily to a special interactive lunch with Chef Todd English at the Culinary Institute in St. Helena hosted by Bing’s new Food & Wine App.  He demonstrated two dishes, sea scallops with chestnuts and orange and rabbit pappardelle.  Afterwards, we went into the school’s kitchens to prepare the scallops for ourselves, then were served the rabbit dish and a spiced pumpkin crème brûlée.  Since Emily and I ended up cooking our sea scallops last (due to a rather pushy patron who did not want to share), we ended up having Todd English give us a one-on-one lesson on proper preparation.  It was a really fantastic afternoon, and we are so grateful that we were able to participate!  A big thank you go out to Katie Musselman from Bing and of course, Emily, for inviting me along on such a great event.

Now, onto our coffee break!  I thought in honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I would do an entirely Thanksgiving themed link up.  Enjoy!

 

Looking for a lovely starter for your Thanksgiving meal?  The Kitchn has rounded up 8 delicious and festive soups to get you started.

Take a look at these Vargas-girl style Thanksgiving pin-ups.  Because nothing says community and family and thankfulness quite a like a saucy pilgrim girl riding a giant turkey.

Buzzfeed has given you everything you never knew about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I don’t know about you, but I love the idea of releasing the balloons after the parade to float around New York City.

And finally, my favorite Thanksgiving link.  Everyone has that one particular anal-retentive family member, right?  Well, be lucky you’re not in Marney’s family.  Click on this link: hilarity will ensue.

 

I’ll be back on Wednesday with a little recipe to get the weekend of eating started.  Have a great week!

Monday Morning Coffee Break

Coffee Break

 

Good morning my loves!  How is everyone today?  Anyone get Veteran’s Day off?  Shawn did, and I am positively green with envy that he gets to enjoy an extra day.  Oh well, onwards and upwards!

 

In random history news, some recent findings have been revealed in regards to King Tut’s mummy.  Did you know it spontaneously combusted at one point?  Crazy.

Looking to improve your vocabulary?  Try some of these Victorian slang terms, and delight in the confusion on your friends’ faces.

These realistically colorized versions of historic photographs are simply breathtaking.

Buzzfeed this past week delighted us with 21 of the best things to ever happen in a restaurant.  

It’s persimmon season!  Try out some of these delicious seasonal recipes.

As you get ready to start planning your Thanksgiving meals, check out these simple party hacks.  You will wow everyone with your hosting skills.

And finally, Michelle at Brown Eyed Baker has created a recipe for homemade vanilla extract.  Must try.

 

Also, stay tuned later in the week for a special Humble Gourmet announcement!  Have a great week!